Meet the Winners of the 2016 Design Challenge!

The “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition, the 2016 Design Challenge sponsored by Metals in Construction magazine and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York invited architects, engineers, students, designers, and others from all over the world to submit their vision for recladding 200 Park Avenue (formerly the Pan Am Building, now the MetLife Building), which was built a half-century ago as the world’s largest corporate structure. This morning a jury composed of architects and engineers presented the results of the competition at a half-day conference at the Times Center in New York, where Nilda Mesa, the director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, gave a keynote address.


The panel of six competition jurors included some of the best known experts in sustainable design from the fields of architecture and engineering: Ben Tranel, AIA, LEED, of Gensler; Areta Pawlynsky, AIA, of Heintges; Billie Faircloth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, of Kieran Timberlake; Fiona Cousins, PE, LEED AP BD+C, of Arup; Sameer Kumar, AIA, LEED AP, of SHoP; and Hauke Jungjohann of Thornton Tomasetti.


The jury selected six finalists, each with its own outstanding merits. Metals in Construction with support of the jury decided to distribute the $15k prize money equally among the six teams. The winners include members from leading international architecture and engineering firms and organizations: VOA, Werner Sobek, SHoP, Heintges, CASE-RPI, StudioTJOA, FXFOWLE, Thornton Tomasetti, Dagher Engineering, AECOM, and Lemay. The winning entries of the 2016 competition will be published in an upcoming issue of Metals in Construction magazine and its digital platforms.

The mandate of the competition was to reimagine 200 Park Avenue with a resource-conserving, eco-friendly enclosure—one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce—while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of the building’s heritage. The competition, which was managed by Metals in Construction, opened in September 2015, and deadline for final submission was February 1, 2016.

This morning, the prizes were awarded at a half-day conference at the Times Center in New York City. The keynote address was delivered by Nilda Mesa, the director of the NYC Mayor’s office of Sustainability, which was followed by a presentation by architect Peter Arbour, Assoc. AIA, of  Vidaris on notable case studies from around the world illustrating the most innovative technologies for the energy retrofit of facades and the analytical tools used to evaluate performance.

1D0A9633The second half of the program featured a panel discussion with the jurors moderated by Arbour, which was followed by the announcement of the winning finalists and the presentation of each winning entry by a juror. Finally, Gary Higbee, editor of Metals in Construction, announced the magazine’s upcoming 2017 Design Challenge. Next year’s challenge will be sponsored by the Steel Institute of New York, which together with the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York has published Metals in Construction for the New York design and construction industry since 1982.

The 2016 “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition was inspired by President’s Climate Action Plan and the Architecture 2030 Challenge. Meeting the aggressive goals for energy reduction established by these programs will require energy retrofits of existing building stock on a widespread scale. With this in mind, designers commissioned to replace antiquated facades on notable office towers will need to strike a balance between preserving what is truly architecturally significant and integrating components that can offer higher energy performance.

“The competition was conceived to explore ways of retrofitting existing facades for high performance when preservation and innovation are competing priorities,” says Gary Higbee, AIA, director of industry development for the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York and editor of Metals in Construction magazine. “Recladding a building can give it a new visual identity and radically improve its energy performance in the process. But how do you address this with recognized landmarks? The answers we received in the form of submissions were full of innovative concepts but also underscored how crucial it is for architects and engineers to work together to find successful solutions.”

About Metals in Construction magazine

Metals in Construction magazine showcases noteworthy projects that feature innovative use of structural steel and architectural metal in New York City’s five boroughs and adjacent Nassau Suffolk and Westchester counties. To see recent issues of the magazine, visit

About the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York

The Ornamental Metal Institute of New York is a not-for-profit association created in 1972 to advance the interests of the architectural, ornamental and miscellaneous metal industries. In this regard, the Institute sponsors programs to keep architects, engineers construction managers, and developers abreast of innovations in the use of these materials for architectural applications.

For additional images and interviews contact Gary Higbee, AIA, editor, Metals in Construction magazine:



PanAmUnderGlass_VOAWernerSobek - 3

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IMAGE CREDIT: Courtesy of VOA Architecture


VOA Architecture, PLLC

Caroline Karlsen

Brian McFarland, Principal

Jacob Ross

Mavis Tang

Werner Sobek New York Corp.

Laurence De Bary

Viola Kosseda

Valeria Postorino

Silvia Prandelli, COO


Performance-Based Preservation-2-Gabrielle Brainard

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IMAGE CREDIT: Courtesy of Gabrielle Brainard


Gabrielle Brainard, AIA, SHoP Architects

Benjamin Martinson, Heintges

Berardo Matalucci, CASE-RPI

Brandon Andow, PhD, CASE-RPI

Mohamed Aly Etman, CASE-RPI

Naomi Keena, CASE-RPI


ThermalswitchFacade-StudioTJOA - 1

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Audrey Worden
Alexander Worden


HarnessingUrbanEnergies-FXFOWLE- - 3

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Michael Buesing

Jim Bushong

Elizabeth Himmel

Ilana Judah

Patrick Koch

Brandon Massey

Mario Menendez

Gustavo Rodriguez

Austin Sakong

Melanie Silver

David Wallance

THORNTON TOMASETTI (Façade and Energy Modeling Consultant)
Vamshe Gooje
Jais Kwon JungWon
Silverio Patrizi
Nicole Peterson
Tiffany Broyles Yost

DAGHER ENGINEERING (Mechanical Engineering)
Elias Dagher
Ritwik Kakati
Josephine Zurica

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IMAGE CREDIT: AECOM and Volley Studio


Jason Vollen, Architecture
Rob Rothblatt, Architecture
Ross Wimer, Architecture
Xiaofei Shen, Architecture
John Dillon, Architecture
Antoine AbiDargham, Structural
Mostafa Elmorsi, Structural
Pat Hauserman, Construction
James H. Ward III, Construction
Alastair Macgregor, Energy Simulation
Maria Spastri, Energy Simulation
Bryant Stanton, Architecture
Kate Speidel, Architecture
Tom Scerbo, Architecture & Engineering
Geoff Lynch, Architecture

Rendering Team: Volley Studio
Derek Chan
Mike Klausmeier

Vue10 - aerienne_new
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LEMAY (architecture, urban design, branding, sustainability)
Michel Lauzon, senior partner, chief creative officer
Andres Escobar – senior partner, design principal
Andrew King – senior partner, design principal
Simon Pelletier, architectural designer, lemayLAB
Nicolas Labrie, architectural designer, lemayLAB
Alexandre Lapierre, architectural designer, lemayLAB
Karen Piché, urban designer, lemayLAB
Alexis Légaré, architectural designer, lemayLAB
Anthony Bouchard, urban designer, lemayLAB
Marie‐Élaine Globensky, brand strategist
Kevin Wang, senior graphic designer
Real Migneault, associate, sustainability
Nancy Dubeau, urban designer, sustainability
Eloi Mayano, project assistant, sustainability

ECOSYSTEM (Energy, Performance & Simulations)
André Rochette, CEO
Maxime Jeffrey‐Gauthier, engineering, analyst

Simon Sawada, energy and daylight analyst